A legacy of Learning
The legacy of the Shahani Group in the education sector goes back a long way, across generations and geographies, to a visionary named Thadomal Shahani.
Thadomal Shahani was an educationist in the true sense of the term. Born in the mid-nineteenth century in a scholarly Sindhi family, he learnt the value of education early. This encouraged him to devote his life to the cause of education and become the Principal of the D.J. Sind College at Karachi.
He realized early that the best way to lift people out of poverty was to give them an education. While his devotion to the cause of the underprivileged was exemplary, what set him apart was his definition of the word ‘education’ – he wanted to go beyond the usual ‘qualifications’-oriented education system and instil in his students a certain curiosity and willingness to learn.
The Second Generation
With such a far-sighted parent, it was only natural that his sons also followed in his footsteps and took up the cause of learning. Thadomal Shahani’s eldest son, Jotsing Thadomal Shahani, started a publishing company to provide children school text books. Another son, Anandram Thadomal Shahani, became a renowned author of instructional books to help people learn various languages.
His youngest son, Kishinchand Thadomal Shahani, followed an even more difficult path. Left confounded by the Partition of 1947, he arrived in Mumbai (then Bombay) a penniless immigrant, empty-handed saving the ideals and values he had inherited from his father. These ideals helped him start a new life with focus and determination.
He started off humbly, selling fountain pens on local trains. Slowly, he built up his business, surpassing one milestone after another in his quest for success. He helped to establish more than twenty-four iconic colleges in Mumbai – among them the Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, HR College, KC College and National College.
The Shahani Group Today
Today, the branches of the Shahani tree of learning have spread wide. The members of the Shahani family continue to serve on the management of the colleges Kishinchand Thadomal Shahani helped to set up.
Thadomal Shahani’s descendants continue to hold the family flag up high in the education sector. Indu Shahani, Thadomal Shahani’s grand-daughter, is the Principal of one of Mumbai’s top colleges. She is also a committee member of the University Grants Commission, and a member on the Board of the International Baccalaureate Organisation in Geneva & a past Sheriff of Mumbai.
Akhil Shahani is the fourth generation Shahani in the education sector. Akhil has started a range of ventures in the educational sector. He also runs the non-profit SAGE Foundation which provides education and skills training for a hundred villages in Maharashtra. He has received the ‘Bharat Shiromani Award’ for his work in the education field.
With Akhil Shahani at the helm, the Shahani Group is rapidly expanding its horizons, with a growing number of institutions catering to a wide spectrum of education seekers. Akhil has continued his forefathers’ tradition of ‘Learn and Let Learn’. The foundation of ideals remains strong, and the Group steadfastly pursues its traditional love for learning with its mission to bring about significant and relevant upgradation in the realm of education.